It’s that time of year again, people have already begun lighting up fireworks across the state, as the Fourth of July approaches, fireworks vendors are beginning to sell their wares.
We all look forward to the summer weather and celebrating the opportunity to be outdoors at picnics, barbecues, and other events. At many of these smaller than usual gatherings, the use of fireworks, both legal and illegal, is on the rise. When used legally and safely by professionals, fireworks can be enjoyed. Unfortunately, numerous incidents of injuries, fatalities, or accidental fires caused by the private use of fireworks are reported each year across the United States.
Several years ago, the State of Connecticut made it legal for any person sixteen (16) years of age or older to possess, sell, or use any sparkling device. The use of any type of sparkling device by a person under the age of 16 is illegal.
NO OTHER TYPES OF FIREWORKS ARE LEGAL UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF PUBLIC ACT 00-198! This includes, but is not limited to, devices known as “M-80’s,” “Cherry Bombs,” “Bottle Rockets,” and any device that is explosive or aerial such as ground displays or roman candles. While the use of sparkling devices is legal in Connecticut, they can be dangerous if not used properly.
The Orange Fire Marshal’s Office asks that you remember the following safety guidelines.
• When handling a sparkling device, wear protective goggles and gloves. Sparklers can reach temperatures of up to 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit once they are lit and many burns and eye injuries have been reported as a result of improper use.
• Do not use ANY open flame devices when dry ground conditions are present. The Fire Danger Level is available at their website, www.orangefiremarshal.com or by calling the Fire Marshal’s Office at 203-891-4711.
• Be aware of your surroundings. Be sure others are a safe distance away before igniting any sparkling device.
• DO NOT ALLOW CHILDREN TO HANDLE ANY TYPE OF SPARKLING DEVICE.
• Always have a source of extinguishment. A garden hose or fire extinguisher can quickly put out a small fire before it gets out of control, only if it is close by. Anytime there is a fire or other emergency, do not hesitate to call 911. A delay in a call can make a tragic difference in the outcome.
The local and state fire officials want everyone to enjoy the summer season. Please keep these tips in mind to ensure that it is a safe one. If you would like more information, call the Orange Fire Marshal’s Office Monday through Friday from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm at 203-891-4711.